Is your Dream Home Bugged?

There’s plenty to worry about when you’re ready to purchase a home. From concerns over possible leaks in the roof, to worrying about the age of the pipes in the bathroom—or whether a crack in the wall is a sign of a larger issue—there are plenty of items to fret about.  With the structure itself at the top of mind for many home buyers, pests and rodents probably aren’t high on the priority list when walking through a home. But you can’t let these little buggers get a pass.  Beyond being a pain to deal with,infestations can cause lasting damage to a property and are expensive to treat effectively. If you can spot the signs before you buy, you want the homeowner to be responsible for the cost and treatment.  But how do you tell if a home has a problem?

Obvious Infestations

Typically, pests and rodents prefer to hide out of plain sight during the day when humans are around. If you notice a mouse running along the floorboards or cockroaches on the kitchen counter during the walkthrough, they were likely forced out of their hiding spot by an overcrowded population behind the walls.

Telltale Marks Left Behind

Pests and rodents leave different telltale signs behind. Be on the lookout for these leftovers:

  • Rust color stains on mattress any other soft furniture, which is a sign of bedbugs.
  • Empty brown egg sacks along baseboards and in corners, which indicate cockroaches.
  • Cockroach droppings—black spots typically along the back of countertops, near cracks in the walls or around electrical outlets.
  • Dirt or grease marks along baseboards and walls, which are signs of a rat infestation.

Nesting Places

You might not be the only one looking for a new home. Pests and rodents want a space to come back to as well. Look out for the following signs of their homes:

  • Small piles of shredded newspaper and fabric in dark spaces like a cupboard or the attic. This is a sign of a mice or rat infestation.
  • Small holes in baseboards and walls are often a warning sign of mice and other rodents, who use the holes to travel from their nests to feeding areas. Mice often can squeeze through a hole the size of a nickel.
  • Dirt piles along the perimeter of the property or along the exterior walls of the house can be filled with ants, which may make their way inside the home.


While you can’t see odors, large pest and rodent infestations create distinct smells. Pay attention to these not-so-pleasant aromas:

  • Strong ammonia smells under sinks, in the pantry or cabinets are a sign of mice.
  • A musty or oily smell in the kitchen or bathroom is a sign of a cockroach infestation.
  • A pungent, rotten smell can indicate something dead in the walls or cabinets, which means maggots and flies are soon to follow.

If you a home you’re interested in  is infested, it shouldn’t stop you from making an offer on an affordable home you love. Most bug or rodent infestations are only temporary problems.


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